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P.E. bills carry money with muscle

    A yellow blob of simulated fat and a Nike basketball were prominently featured during testimony Tuesday on a bill that would require physical education classes for all Oregon elementary and middle schools.

    “They tell me this is a pound of body fat,” Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said, holding up the blob for members of the Senate Education and General Government to see. “I find that frightening, considering how much of this is in me.”

    Courtney used the same prop two years ago when he tried and failed to get mandatory P.E. through the Legislature. This time, his package of bills, Senate Bills 367, 370 and 372, have state money attached to them so schools can help defray the cost. SB 370 requires 150 minutes a week of P.E. in elementary school and 225 minutes weekly in middle school. It includes $5.9 million in grants to schools to carry out the mandate.

     — Excerpt from The Oregonian, February 28, 2007


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